Multidimensional Poverty Index

Multidimensional Poverty Index

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “Multidimensional Poverty Index”. The topic “Multidimensional Poverty Index” has relevance in the Poverty section of the UPSC CSE exam.

For Prelims:

About the Multidimensional Poverty Index?

For Mains:

GS 1: Poverty

Key Highlights of the Index?


Why in the news?

A total of 415 million people moved out of poverty in India within just 15 years from 2005/2006 to 2019/2021, the United Nations (UN) said on July 11, highlighting the remarkable achievement by the world’s most populous nation.

Multidimensional Poverty Index:

  • The index is an international resource that measures acute multidimensional poverty in more than 100 developing countries.
  • It was launched in 2010 by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the Human Development Report Office of the UNDP.
  • The MPI monitors deprivations in 10 indicators related to health, education, and standard of living, considering both the incidence and intensity of poverty.
  • An individual is classified as multidimensionally poor if they experience deprivation in at least one-third or more (33% or higher) of the weighted indicators out of the ten indicators used.
  • Those who face deprivation in one-half or more of the weighted indicators are categorized as living in extreme multidimensional poverty.


Key Highlights of the Index:

Global Outlook:

  • 1.1 billion people (18% of the total population) across 110 countries are acutely multidimensionally poor.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa has 534 million poor and South Asia has 389 million, together accounting for five out of every six poor people.
  • Children under 18 years old represent half of the MPI-poor population (566 million).
  • The poverty rate among children is 27.7%, while among adults it is 13.4%.

Outlook for India:

  • Poverty in India: More than 230 million people in India are considered poor.
  • Vulnerability: Around 18.7% of the population in India falls into the category of vulnerability, where they are not considered poor but experience deprivations in 20-33.3% of the weighted indicators.
  • India’s Progress in Poverty Reduction: India is among 25 countries that have successfully halved their global MPI values within 15 years.
  • Between 2005-06 and 2019-21, around 415 million Indians escaped poverty.
  • The incidence of poverty in India decreased from 55.1% in 2005/2006 to 16.4% in 2019/2021.
  • The number of people experiencing multidimensional poverty decreased from about 645 million in 2005/2006 to 230 million in 2019/2021.

Improvement in Deprivation Indicators:

  • India has shown significant progress in all three deprivation indicators: health, education, and standard of living.
  • The decline in poverty has been observed across regions and socio-economic groups.
  • The poorest states and groups, including children and people in disadvantaged caste groups, have experienced the fastest progress.
  • The percentage of people deprived of nutrition decreased from 44.3% in 2005/2006 to 11.8% in 2019/2021, and child mortality fell from 4.5% to 1.5%.


  • Customized multidimensional poverty indices that consider national definitions of poverty are essential for a comprehensive understanding of poverty in each country.
  • Although the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) offers a standardized methodology, national definitions provide a more tailored approach to address poverty based on specific country contexts.
  • Utilizing context-specific indices is crucial in effectively evaluating and addressing poverty in a way that aligns with the unique circumstances and needs of each country.


Q.1 The Multi-dimensional Poverty Index developed by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative with UNDP support covers which of the following? (2012)

1. Deprivation of education, health, assets and services at household level

2. Purchasing power parity at national level

3. Extent of budget deficit and GDP growth rate at national level

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (a)

Q.2 Which of the following accurately describes the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)?

(a) A global indicator that measures poverty solely based on income levels.

(b) An index that evaluates poverty using a single-dimensional approach.

(c) A comprehensive measure that assesses poverty across multiple dimensions.

(d) An index developed exclusively for developing countries.

Answer: (c)

Q.3 Despite Consistent experience of high growth, India still goes with the lowest indicators of human development. Examine the issues that make balanced and inclusive development elusive.

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